Madison Brey and Madison Lindauer have played a lot of basketball for Tomah High School.

The two were inserted into the starting lineup midway through their freshman season and have been two pillars of the program ever since. They’re seniors now, and the guards represent Tomah’s best chance in years to compete with the top teams in the Mississippi Valley Conference.

“We have two good scorers to start out with,” said Tomah coach Mark Von Haden, who begins his sixth season as Tomah head coach. “Our strength is our guard play.”

The offense revolves around Lindauer, a tall point guard who can post up smaller defenders in the paint but also drains 3-pointers when defenses pack the lane. She has been honored as first-team MVC the past two years and surpassed the 1,000-point mark during Tomah’s final game last season.

“We’ve expected that kind of scoring from her the past couple of years,” Von Haden said. “She’s also a good passer, and hopefully we can put her in a position where she can pass the ball and pick up some more assists.”

Brey, who sustained a knee injury during in the second nonconference game, was expected to be a threat from the 3-point line and a critical part of Tomah’s pressing defense.

“She has the most natural instincts of getting hands her hands on the ball of anyone I’ve seen,” Von Haden said.

Another experienced senior is Emma Liek, who was brought up to the varsity as a freshman and has been a rotation player ever since. She moved into the staring lineup midway through last season as the starting center.

“We’re looking for Emma to emerge as a third scoring option,” Von Haden said.

A fourth senior, Abby Wagenson, was the first player off the bench last season and will bid for a starting job.

The team’s fifth senior, Ruth Schwichtenberg, played mostly varsity reserve last year but has a good chance to earn meaningful varsity minutes. Von Haden likes her energy and athleticism.

Abby Sherwood is the only junior who’s expected to be a full-time varsity player. She’ll play the perimeter, where she’s a 3-point threat.

Four sophomores round out the varsity roster.

Guard Ella Plueger returns after winning a varsity letter as a freshman. She provided relibable ballhandling and defense last season, and Von Haden believes a season of varsity experience will make her a more confident scorer.

Forward Alyssa Whaley played varsity reserve for nearly the entire season before suddenly logging important minutes during Tomah’s regional tournament game at Holmen.

“She’s ready − she looks the part,” Von Haden said.

Lexi Spiers and Shani Tiber round out the roster. Von Haden expects Spiers to hit shots from 3-point range, while Tiber gives the Timberwolves another solide defender and rebounder.

Junior Savannah Murphy and sophomore Emily Powell will split time between varsity and varsity reserve.

Tomah is coming off a 13-10 overall record and 5-7 in MVC play. Von Haden believes this is the season that Tomah can make a run toward the top of the MVC.

“Our goal is compete with the top of the conference,” Von Haden said. “It will be interesting to see how we compete with the top teams.”

MVC GIRLS BASKETBALL

Final 2017-18 standings

Aquinas 12-0 28-0

Onalaska 10-2 22-4

Holmen 7-5 13-11

Tomah 5-7 13-10

Central 5-7 10-14

Sparta 3-9 7-16

Logan 0-12 2-21

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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